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Our team went out into the field looking for the best canine nutrition products in the world. Our winner for this year is Pupper, which topped our charts in terms of ingredient quality as well as science backed claims.
Dogs are a man's best friend. And, like humans, they need to eat healthy in order to stay strong and active. That's why it's important to find the best affordable dog foods in 2022.
In this article, we will discuss 25 of the best options for budget-minded pet owners. We'll also provide tips on how to choose the right food for your furry friend. So, whether you're looking for a cheap kibble or a more expensive organic diet, we have you covered.
Pupper Beef Topper
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
American Journey Canned Dog Food
Dr. Tim’s Dry Dog Food
Victor Purpose Dry Dog Food
Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food
Horizon Complete Dry Dog Food
Eukanuba Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Wet Dog Food
American Journey Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Chicken Soup for the Soul Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Avoderm Dry Dog Food
Iams Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe
Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food
Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
Pure Balance Pro+ Large Breed 30LB Dry Dog Food
Retriever Choice Chops Adult Skin & Coat Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food
Wild Earth Rich Umami and Roasted Superfood Recipe
Why is dog food so expensive 2022?
The cost of pet food has been on the rise in recent years, and it's not showing any signs of slowing down. The main reason for this is the rising cost of ingredients.
With the world economy in a bit of turmoil, the prices of meat, grains, and other commodities have all increased. And since dog food contains a good amount of these ingredients, the prices have gone up as well.
Fortunately, there are still some affordable options out there for dog food. You just need to know where to look and what to look for when you're evaluating different brands.
What makes a dog food affordable?
In order to be considered affordable, a dog food must provide high-quality ingredients at a price that is lower than most other brands. Affordability is important for pet owners who want to feed their dogs the best possible diet without breaking the bank.
There are many factors to consider when choosing an affordable dog food. The first is quality. Ingredients like meat, vegetables, and fruit should be listed first on the ingredient label. The food should also be free of fillers, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives.
The second factor to consider is price. Compare the price of the food per pound or per kilogram to other brands. For example, if a brand costs $50 for a 40-pound bag, it would be considered more affordable than a brand that costs $70 for the same size bag.
The third factor to consider is the company's reputation. Look for brands that have been around for many years and have a good reputation among pet owners. Avoid companies that have had recalls or lawsuits filed against them.
Tips for Feeding my Dog the Best Affordable Dog Food
When switching your dog to a more affordable dog food brand, you'll want to start slowly. Mix the new food with the old food, gradually increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food. This will help your dog's digestive system adjust to the new diet.
Also, be sure to read the ingredient label carefully. Some companies use marketing tricks to make their food appear more affordable than it actually is. For example, a company may list the price per pound but not mention that the bag only contains 15 pounds of food.
When looking for the best affordable dog food, keep these tips in mind to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.
Now that you know more about how to feed your dog a new brand of food and what to look for in the best dog food, let's elaborate on the top 25 brands we've featured here today:
1. Pupper Beef Topper
Image courtesy Pupper
Pupper Fuel's dry dog food is made with beef as the main ingredient and also includes brown rice, peas, and carrots. Budget-conscious pet owners will appreciate this high-quality meal.
Fuel has been developed from natural and grain-free components with the aim of enhancing health and performance. They use grass-fed beef, real veggies, and all-natural elements that contain actual nutrients.
2. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Diamond Naturals
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is made entirely of real meat and no fillers. It's an excellent choice for pet owners who want to feed their dog a nutritious dinner without breaking the bank.
This food is created to fulfill all of your dog's nutritional needs and is composed of high-quality ingredients that are both safe and nutritious for him.
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is designed to provide your dog with all of the nutrients he needs for a long, happy life. It's made entirely of meat and no fillers, so you can be confident you're providing your dog with a nutritious dinner.
3. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Taste of the Wild
You can make sure your dog gets all of the nutrients he requires for excellent health with a natural diet that is balanced by nature when you give him Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
This grain-free meal includes real smoked salmon, a rich source of highly digestible protein and natural antioxidant protection from actual fruits and vegetables, dried chicory root for prebiotic nourishment and healthy digestion, and peas and sweet potatoes.
This chelated formula contains the same nutrients as raw food, but they're absorbed more effectively, ensuring that your pet gets all of the nutrition it needs in a pleasant flavor that he or she will enjoy.
4. American Journey Canned Dog Food
Image courtesy American Journey
Puppies and older dogs who are growing, changing, or recovering from surgery may benefit significantly from Pedigree's Growth and Development Puppy Food. This food is high in calories and fat to help your pup put on weight, but it's also packed with DHA to support cognitive development. It has added vitamins and minerals to keep your growing puppy healthy, and the kibble is easy for small mouths to eat.
This food is made with real meat and is grain-free. It also includes no artificial colors or flavors, so you can be confident that your pet is receiving a high-quality diet. American Journey Canned Dog Food is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their dog with a balanced and flavorful diet.
5. Dr. Tim’s Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Chewy
You can assist your dog maintain a healthy weight while also meeting his nutritional needs with Dr. Tim's Weight Management Metabolite Formula Dry Dog Food.
This meal is made with the ideal mix of carbohydrates, fats, and fiber to help you lose weight while still feeding his ordinary diet. It's a slow-cooked, all-natural dish developed by two people who understand what it takes to keep your pet healthy - a Ph.D. canine nutritionist and an experienced veterinarian.
So you can be comfortable that you're feeding your pet with a meal that meets his specific nutritional needs. Dr. Tim's Metabolite diet was created to maximize his natural calorie-burning capacity while keeping him happy.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs may enjoy every bite and maintain their weight down since it's refined without corn, wheat, or soy.
6. Victor Purpose Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Victor
VICTOR is a high-calorie, protein-rich diet that meets the nutritional demands of your older dog. This multi-protein, nutrient-dense food is meant to aid dogs with joint difficulties.
This diet is best for light-duty canines and those that need to lose weight. VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is gluten-free and a fantastic option for dog breeds with joint problems.
7. Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Chewy
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food is made with genuine meat and no fillers. This food is formulated to fulfill all of your dog's nutritional needs and is formulated using high-quality components that are both nutritious and safe for your pet.
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food is designed to give your dog with all of the nutrients he requires for a long, happy life. It's prepared using actual meat and no fillers, so you can be certain it's loaded with nutrients.
8. Horizon Complete Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Horizon Complete
Give your big breed dog a complete, balanced dinner with Horizon Complete Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food. To ensure that your pet gets the finest nutrition from each mouthful of food, it includes only pure, natural, whole grains.
Puppy foods are highly nutritious, but since they're not complete and balanced in one sitting, they don't provide everything that your puppy needs in order to thrive. This food is made with high-quality, whole grains like barley, rye, and flaxseed instead of corn, potatoes, or tapioca.
Each component has been chosen deliberately to work in harmony and support your puppy's health at every stage of life.
9. Eukanuba Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Eukanuba
Your big breed dog is anything but ordinary, and he needs unique nutrition to reach his full potential. Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food provides energy for your active companion's body, mind, and spirit.
Protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate maintain muscles slim and joints flexible. DHA and vitamin E aid in the maintenance of a healthy brain function, allowing your adult dog to stay sharp. Fats and carbohydrates that are consumed in sufficient amounts provide energy for a lively lifestyle.
Your big breed dog's hearty appetite is aided by high-quality chicken and natural fibers, as well as prebiotic flaxseed. This adult dog food also begins with high-quality chicken to keep your large dog energetic throughout the day.
Eukanuba can be a great alternative for an added treat if you give him Eukanuba along with his favorite wet dog food. Your dog puts his all into everything he does for you. To assist support the exceptional in everyday life, feed him Eukanuba.
10. Whole Earth Farms Wet Dog Food
Image courtesy Whole Earth Farms
The Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Wet Dog Food variety pack gives your four-legged companion a nutritious and satisfying meal. Each dish is prepared using genuine meat as the first ingredient, with no artificial additives or colors.
The Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Wet Dog Food variety pack comes with four varieties: Turkey & Chicken, Beef & Lamb, Duck & Turkey, and Pork & Beef. Each recipe is prepared with real meat as the first ingredient and contains no artificial tastes or colors.
11. American Journey Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato
Image courtesy Chewy
The Grain-Free Alaska Salmon & Potato Recipe is jam-packed with nutrients, so your pet will be occupied for hours. The Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food recipe includes genuine, deboned salmon with the protein and amino acids she needs to build leaner muscles and a flavor that she'll enjoy.
To give your dog energy that lasts, you should add sweet potatoes and beans to his diet. Your dog will get important fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants from nutritious fruits and vegetables like carrots, dried kelp, and blueberries.
The omega-6s in this food are derived from a range of sources, including salmon oil and flaxseed, and they aid in the maintenance of your dog's skin and coat. This dish is grain-free and corn, wheat, or soy-free, making it safe for dogs with dietary restrictions.
12. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Blue Buffalo
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is a complete and balanced diet for dogs of all ages. It includes real meat, fruits, and vegetables to ensure that your pet gets all of the nutrients he or she requires and desires.
In this diet, balanced with a high-quality supplement, you'll find deboned chicken as the main component. Whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruit are also included.
The Life Protection Formula from Blue's Garden also includes Blue Buffalo Life Source Bits, a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promotes immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.
13. Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Canidae
Canidae All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Formula Dry Dog Food is a great way to make meal times more fun, delicious, and nutritious for your dog. This doctor-created recipe is custom-designed for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages.
It's jam-packed with high-quality ingredients, including the greatest protein, making it ideal for your dog. It's gluten-free and corn-free to ensure that your dog gets all of the nutrients he needs. This all-in-one feeding approach makes meal preparation for many dogs much easier than having a variety of bags of different meals.
The simplicity of a single-dog home cannot be overstated. You won't have to guess or replace based on your dog's age, breed, or size any longer. For the excellent nourishment that your canine friend enjoys, all you'll need is one bag.
14. Chicken Soup for the Soul Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Chicken Soup for the Soul
Adult Dry Dog Food from Chicken Soup for the Soul is a healthy diet that will keep your older dog in top form. This food has chicken and turkey as the first two ingredients to help maintain strong muscles.
The meal is high in vitamin C, which helps to stimulate the immune system. It is also high in antioxidants and superfoods such as apples, blueberries, and spinach, which help to enhance immunological health.
Canine Adult Dry Dog Food from Canis Lend a Hand is made entirely of real ingredients with no by-products, wheat, corn or soy to promote long-term health.
15. Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Nutro Ultra
The Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food is a high-quality dog food that meets your dog's nutritional requirements. The first three components of this food are made with real chicken, lamb, and fish.
It includes grains, vegetables, and fruit in order to give your dog a well-balanced diet. The Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
16. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Nature’s Recipe
Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a high-quality diet that will keep your dog healthy and active. This food contains real chicken as the first ingredient.
The primary component in this food is whitefish, which is high in protein and low in fat. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruit enliven your dog's meal with a complete and balanced diet. Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are absent from the Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
17. Avoderm Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Avoderm
Avoderm Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula is a delicious puppy meal that your dog will enjoy. This high-quality food gives your adult dog with all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they require to maintain healthy skin and coat.
Even if your pup's skin is sensitive, omega-rich avocado and high-quality protein keep her coat and skin in good shape. Pressure cooking has been used to optimize nutrition and energy, with no preservatives, colors, or by-products. Only pure ingredients with a great taste for your favorite dog!
18. Iams Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe
Image courtesy Iams
The Iams Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe is a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs. The first ingredient in this food is real lamb, which demonstrates that it's not only good, but actually excellent!
The high-quality food is also enhanced with vegetables, fruit, and whole grains to give your dog a complete and balanced diet. The Iams Minichunks Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe is devoid of artificial colors, tastes, and preservatives.
19. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Purina One
Purina ONE's Lamb & Rice with Chicken is a high-quality dog food that includes real lamb as the first ingredient and is combined with other high-quality protein sources to promote muscular development and a healthy heart.
Lamb is a great source of protein that complements grains and other ingredients to offer a comprehensive protein profile. Selenium, zinc, and vitamins E and A work together to strengthen the immune system and create a smooth coat.
Blend two meals into one to simplify your feeding routine by improving how healthy ingredients complement each other.
20. Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Pedigree
Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food will ensure the best possible quality of life for your four-legged companion.
It's a complete meal, packed with vital minerals and a wonderful roasted chicken flavor, and it's meant to give dogs everything they need to have a happy existence. It also contains high quantities of vitamin E, an antioxidant that aids in the protection of his immune system, as well as B vitamins, zinc, and omega-6 fatty acids.
21. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Merrick
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food is a delicious and nutritious meal that your dog will love. The first ingredient in this food is real chicken, which ensures its nutritional value.
This food also includes whole grains, vegetables, and fruit to provide your dog with a well-rounded diet. The Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food is devoid of synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives.
22. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Hill’s Science Diet
The Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food from Hills is a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs. Real chicken is the first ingredient in this food.
The ingredient list for Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food is comprehensive, providing your dog with every nutrient he or she needs in a balanced diet. It also includes whole grains, vegetables, and fruit, giving your dog a complete and nutritious meal.
23. Pure Balance Pro+ Large Breed 30LB Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Walmart
The first element in this Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is real chicken, which is blended with brown rice and peas to provide lean muscle and healthy joints, digestion, bones, immune system, skin, coat, heart, and vision in an easily digested format.
The Pure Balance Pro+ Large Breed Dog Food is a premium wet dog food made with the greatest ingredients, all natural substances, and additional vitamins, minerals, and other trace components.
24. Retriever Choice Chops Adult Skin & Coat Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Retriever
The ingredients in Retriever Choice Chops Adult Skin & Coat Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food are all-natural, complete, and balanced. As the first ingredient, this food is composed entirely of real beef.
It also has whole grains, vegetables, and fruit in order to provide your dog with a well-rounded diet. The Retriever Choice Chops Adult Skin & Coat Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food is completely sugar and meat free.
25. Wild Earth Rich Umami and Roasted Superfood Recipe
Image courtesy Wild Earth
Feed your dog the high-quality nutrients of Wild Earth's Clean Protein Formula Plant Based Dry Dog Food!
This dish is nutritionally complete and contains prebiotic fibers to promote a healthy gut microbiota and resistance against ailments. It's brimming with delicious umami flavor thanks on whole-food components like chickpeas, pumpkin, oats, spinach, and sweet potato!
This affordable dog food is made with real ingredients, including 100% beef and chicken, so you and your beloved dog can enjoy them. You may also be certain that your dog will not eat any fillers, additives, animal by-products, or artificial preservatives since they do not contain any of these things.
Is more expensive dog food really better?
It's a common belief that the higher the price, the better the quality. But is this always true?
When it comes to dog food, there are definitely some expensive brands out there that offer top-of-the-line nutrition for your pup. But you don't necessarily need to break the bank to feed your furry friend a healthy diet.
There are plenty of affordable dog food brands that use high-quality ingredients and offer complete nutrition for your pup. It's just a matter of looking into each of the more affordable brands and evaluating what their ingredients are to see if they're the best option for your canine companion.
Our Criteria for Ranking the Best Dog Food
Choosing the right dog food is essential for your pet's health and well-being. With the plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which dog food is best for your furry friend. To simplify this process and help you make an informed decision, we have established a set of criteria for ranking the best dog food products. These criteria are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and the specific nutritional needs of dogs.
Complete and Balanced: The dog food must meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for a complete and balanced diet, ensuring it provides all essential nutrients in the right proportions.
High-Quality Protein: The primary ingredient should be a high-quality animal protein source, such as chicken, beef, or fish, to support your dog's muscle development and overall health.
Whole Grains and Vegetables: Whole grains and vegetables should be included to provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Absence of Fillers and Artificial Additives:
No Fillers: The best dog food should not contain fillers like corn, soy, or wheat, which offer limited nutritional value and may cause allergies.
No Artificial Additives: It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can harm your dog's health over time.
Meat Meal vs. Whole Meat:
Preference for Whole Meat: Whole meat sources are preferred over meat meals or by-products, as they are less processed and retain more nutritional value.
Digestibility and Allergen Consideration:
Hypoallergenic Options: For dogs with allergies or sensitivities, hypoallergenic options that avoid common allergens like poultry or grains should be available.
High Digestibility: The dog food should be highly digestible to ensure your pet absorbs the maximum nutrients from each meal.
Life Stage Appropriateness:
Age and Size-Specific Formulations: The best dog food should offer formulations tailored to your dog's life stage (puppy, adult, senior) and size (small, medium, large).
Transparency and Sourcing:
Transparent Labeling: Brands should provide transparent information about ingredient sourcing and processing methods.
Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing: A commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients reflects a brand's responsibility toward animal welfare and the environment.
Health Benefits and Special Considerations:
Support for Special Health Needs: The best dog food may offer formulations to address specific health concerns, such as joint health, dental care, or weight management.
Customer Feedback and Reviews:
Positive User Experiences: Customer feedback and reviews are valuable indicators of a product's performance, safety, and palatability.
Price and Value:
Affordability: The cost of the dog food should be reasonable and commensurate with its quality and ingredients, offering good value for pet owners.
Recall History and Safety:
Safety Record: Brands with a history of recalls or safety issues should be viewed with caution, as the safety of your pet is paramount.
Final Thoughts on 25 Best Affordable Dog Foods
We hope this list of the 25 best affordable dog foods in 2022 was helpful for you and your pup. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian first before making any changes to your dog's diet. And, as always, happy eating!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Dog Food
What should I consider when choosing dog food for my pet?
When choosing dog food, consider factors such as your dog's age, size, activity level, any allergies or sensitivities, and consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.
What is the difference between dry and wet dog food?
Dry dog food (kibble) is convenient, has a longer shelf life, and can help with dental health. Wet dog food contains more moisture and can be more palatable for picky eaters. Some owners choose to feed a combination for variety.
Is homemade dog food a good option?
Homemade dog food can be an option but requires careful research and balance to ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients. Consulting with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist is recommended.
How can I tell if a dog food is of high quality?
Look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains and vegetables, minimal fillers and additives, and adherence to AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition. Checking customer reviews and consulting experts can also help.
Should I choose a dog food based on my dog's breed?
While some breed-specific formulas exist, it's more important to consider your dog's individual needs, age, and size when selecting dog food.
What should I do if my dog has food allergies or sensitivities?
If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, consult your veterinarian for advice. They may recommend hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient dog foods.
Is grain-free dog food a better choice?
Grain-free dog food isn't necessarily better. While some dogs may benefit from grain-free options, it's essential to ensure the food still provides balanced nutrition, as some grain-free diets have been associated with certain health issues.
How often should I feed my dog, and in what portion sizes?
Feeding frequency and portion sizes depend on your dog's age, size, and activity level. Puppies typically require more frequent meals. Follow the feeding guidelines provided on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog's needs.
Can I mix different brands or types of dog food?
Mixing different brands or types of dog food can be done, but it should be done gradually to avoid digestive upset. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the best way to transition your dog to a new diet.
Should I be concerned about recalls when choosing dog food?
Yes, it's important to stay informed about recalls. Check the FDA and manufacturer websites regularly for recall information. Brands with a history of recalls may be worth avoiding.
What is the role of my veterinarian in selecting dog food?
Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance on selecting the right dog food based on your pet's specific needs, health conditions, and dietary requirements.
How can I ensure my dog stays hydrated when feeding dry dog food?
Always provide access to clean, fresh water. Wetting the dry food or incorporating wet food into the diet can also increase moisture intake.
Can I give my dog human food as part of their diet?
While some human foods are safe for dogs, it's essential to know which ones are and to avoid potentially toxic foods. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding human food to your dog's diet.
Remember that each dog is unique, and their dietary needs may vary. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian and open communication about your dog's diet are key to ensuring their health and well-being.